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Effects of Tobacco Control on Prevalence & Consumption

There are several surveys monitoring smoking prevalence rates on either an annual or biennual basis. Some surveys concentrate on youth prevalence while others monitor smoking prevalence of the general public. Below are the surveys monitoring Ontario smoking prevalence and their latest results:

  • The Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS) is an Ontario-wide survey conducted every two years by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. The survey reports prevalence and patters of tobacco, alcohol and other drug use among Ontario students in grades 7 through 12.

    The 2017 OSDUHS reported 7% of Ontario students (estimated 63,800 students) smoked cigarettes in the past year. About 2% of students (an estimated 21,300) smoked cigarettes on a daily basis. The use electronic cigarettes was also surveyed and approximately 11% of students (an estimated 80,800) reported using an e-cigarette in the past year. Of these students, approximately 40% reported using e-cigarettes without nicotine, 28% reported using e-cigarettes with nicotine, 19% reported using both types and 13% reported not knowing what type they used.

  • The Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey (CSTADS), formally the Youth Smoking Survey (YSS), is a biennial survey administered to students in grades 7-12 across Canada. CSTADS is implemented with the cooperation, support and funding of Health Canada. CSTADS collectes data on topics such such as: tobacco use, alcohol use, drug use, bullying, school connectedness, and mental health.

    The 2016-17 CSTADS reported that 2.6% of Ontario youth in grades 7-12 are current smokers (daily and non-daily smokers). Approximately 6.6% of Ontario students in grades 7-12 used an e-cigarettes in the past 30 days.

  • The Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) is an an ongoing cross-sectional population survey that collects information related to health status, healthcare utilization and health determinants among Canadians aged 12 years and older. Initiated in 2000, it operated on a two-year collection cycle but changed to annual data collection in 2007. The CCHS is a large-sample general population health survey, designed to provide reliable estimates at the health region level. In 2012, the CCHS began a redesign process and the results of the 2015 survey is based on the redesigned collection strategy. Caution should be taken when comparing data from previous cycles to data released for the 2015 cycle onwards.

    According to the 2017 CCHS findings, approximately 15.4% of Ontarians over the age of 12 reported being current smokers (includes daily and occasional). The CCHS also breaks down these prevalence rates by age groups:

    • Age 12-17: 2.8%
    • Age 18-34: 17.0%
    • Age 35-49: 17.8%
    • Age 50-64: 19.7%
    • Age 65+: 9.4%

  • The Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey (CTADS) is a biennial general population survey of tobacco, alcohol and drug use among Canadians aged 15 years and older. The CTADS is conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of Health Canada.

    Findings from the 2017 CTADS show that 12.9% of Ontarians aged 15+ are current smokers (daily and occasional). The CTADS also breaks down prevalence rates by age groups:

    • Age 15-19: 6.4%
    • Age 20-24: 12.3%
    • Age 25-44: 14.3%
    • Age 44+: 13.0%

  • The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Monitor is an Ontario-wide, random telephone survey, focusing on addiction and mental health issues. Administered by the Institute for Social Research at York University, this ongoing monthly survey has a two-stage probability selection design. The survey represents Ontario residents aged 18 and older, excluding people in prisons, hospitals, military establishments, and transient populations such as the homeless. The CAMH Monitor replaced earlier surveys at the Centre including the Ontario Alcohol and Other Drug Opinion Survey (1992-1995) and the Ontario Drug Monitor (1996-1999).

    The 2015 CAMH Monitor reported that 13.2% of Ontarians aged 18+ were current smokers.

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